MADIKERI: Wearing their trademark camouflage, Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) commandos are usually involved in combing operations inside the thick forests. However, during the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the commandos are also carrying out humanitarian work by helping poverty-stricken residents of villages located along forest fringes.
Kodagu district is home to many tribals who reside deep inside forests and lead a sustainable life. With no government ID cards, many of them can’t avail the benefits of government schemes and their lives are mostly untouched by urbanisation. Nevertheless, the pandemic has affected their livelihood and their troubles are now being addressed by ANF personnel.
“While carrying out combing operations in forests, we identify poor families. With help from ANF Superintendent B Nikhil, we are distributing food kits to such families,” explained Shashikumar, ANF SI, based in Bhagamandala.A list of beneficiaries has been submitted by the commandos to the ANF, and food kits are arranged by the force. “Once we receive the food kits, we walk to the villages and distribute the kits,” he added.
Across Kodagu, ANF commandos have so far distributed nearly 100 food kits. “We distributed nearly 60 food kits in Bhagamandala, Aarji and Kutta villages. This year, we have just started the initiative and distributed nearly 40 food kits,” Shashikumar added.
Meanwhile, the ANF has also donated oxygen concentrators to rural hospitals in Bhagamandala, Kutta and Aarji villages. “Many have come forward to give donations to poverty-stricken families located in Naxal-affected areas in other districts. However, there are no sponsors in Kodagu, hence ANF is donating kits,” he said